Professor Mike Stratton

Co-head Cancer Genome Project

Mike qualified in medicine and then trained as a histopathologist, having been inspired by the understanding of disease processes that can be revealed by microscopy. During his training, Mike recognised the opportunities to understand causes of cancer through molecular biology, which became the focus of his PhD. He later joined The Institute of Cancer Research as a group leader, and is now Professor of Cancer Genetics there. Mike is also Deputy Director of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and Head of the Cancer Genome Project.

Mike's interests are in the genetics of cancer and in his earlier work focused on genes that increase susceptibility to cancer, such as BRCA2, a gene that, when mutated, greatly increases a woman's risk of breast cancer. His team at the Sanger Institute studies the pathology of cancer genomes, conducting high-throughput, genome-wide searches for acquired, rather than inherited, mutations in human cancer in order to identify new cancer genes, to understand processes of mutation in human cancers and to reveal the role of genome structure in determining abnormalities of cancer genomes. In these studies Mike's team have discovered mutations in the BRAF and ERBB2 genes in melanoma and lung cancer, respectively, and have described the patterns of acquired mutation in human cancer genomes.

The interview clips

In Clips 1-3, Mike briefly describes cancer, the Cancer Genome Project and his career.

Clips 4-7 relate specifically to his research - mapping and identifying the breast cancer susceptibility gene, BRCA2, in the 1990s. BRCA2, when mutated, greatly increases a woman's risk of breast cancer.

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